Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ad ban to boost breast-feeding

Ad ban to boost breast-feeding

Ad ban to boost breast-feeding

A woman breast-feeds her child in Pursat province.

The Ministry of Health yesterday called for enforcement of a ban on all advertising for baby formula due to the health risks it can pose to infants and for enhanced monitoring of all advertising of food for children.

The call was made at a high-level meeting of officials from several ministries as well as representatives from a number of NGOs, including the World Health Organisation and Unicef.

Prak Sophorn Neary, deputy director of the National Centre for Maternal and Child Health, said the meeting was called to ensure a joint effort to enforce a 2005 sub-decree regulating the marketing of food products, particularly powdered milk, for children.

“We urge relevant ministries to continue monitoring and revising all advertisements of products to feed babies and children everywhere,” she said.

Advertising of baby formula should be banned because some promotions were undermining mothers’ confidence in breast-feeding, she said.

The call to enforce the ban follows research from the WHO that found that the lives were being saved each year in Cambodia as a result of an increase in the number of mothers feeding their infants with breast milk exclusively.

Campaigns to encourage exclusive breast-feeding for infants from birth to six months had raised the rate from 11 percent in 2005 to 74 percent in 2010, and this was saving the lives of 6,000 children a year, the study found. WHO health specialist Pieter van Maaren said that there was no doubt that children fed milk made from powder were more susceptible to illness and death than those fed by breast milk.  

Joel Conkle, a nutrition specialist at Unicef Cambodia, said that “when compared with a child only receiving breast milk, a child fed with formula is six times more likely to die in the first two months of life.

“While formula feeding is especially dangerous in an environment with poor sanitation and hygiene, formula feeding is dangerous even in a developed country as it can lead to chronic health problems, which are a burden on the health system in the long-term,” he said.


  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • Bun Heang mocks US, threatens its citizens in scathing open letter

    After being hit with sanctions from the US Department of Treasury, Cambodian General Hing Bun Heang said he would retaliate against any US national who does not respect his country’s sovereignty, has ambitions to invade Cambodia or incites “traitors” in the Kingdom to do

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,